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Publication numberUS20030046880 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/949,965
Publication dateMar 13, 2003
Filing dateSep 10, 2001
Priority dateSep 10, 2001
Publication number09949965, 949965, US 2003/0046880 A1, US 2003/046880 A1, US 20030046880 A1, US 20030046880A1, US 2003046880 A1, US 2003046880A1, US-A1-20030046880, US-A1-2003046880, US2003/0046880A1, US2003/046880A1, US20030046880 A1, US20030046880A1, US2003046880 A1, US2003046880A1
InventorsAndrew Brown, Nelle Brown
Original AssigneeAndrew Brown, Brown Nelle B.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Egg shaped house
US 20030046880 A1
Abstract
A living unit comprising a truncated elliptical shell. The shell comprises a lower truncated end and an elliptical upper end. A floor is attached to the shell parallel to the truncated end. A temperature control system adjusts the air temperature in the living unit by convection. The temperature control system comprises a cistern for storing water below the floor. A heating system, for heating the water, comprises a multiplicity of solar cells attached to the shell. A cooling system, comprising pipes below ground, cool the water by dissipation of heat into the ground. A network selectively circulates the water either between the cistern and the heating system or between the cistern and the cooling system.
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Claims(29)
Claimed is:
1. A living unit comprising:
a truncated elliptical shell comprising a lower truncated end and an elliptical upper end;
a floor attached to said shell parallel to said truncated end; and
a temperature control system for adjusting air temperature in said living unit by convection comprising:
a cistern for storing water below said floor;
a heating system for heating said water wherein said heating system comprises a multiplicity of solar cells attached to said shell;
a cooling system comprising pipes below ground to cool said water by dissipation of heat into said ground; and
a network for selectively circulating said water either between said cistern and said heating system or between said cistern and said cooling system.
2. The living unit of claim 1 further comprising:
a turnstile rotationally attached to said floor wherein said turnstile comprises at least two pods wherein each of said pods comprises at least one component.
3. The living unit of claim 2 further comprising a living area comprising a primary space and one of said pods.
4. The living unit of claim 1 further comprising a door void and a door reversibly engageable with said door void.
5. The living unit of claim 4 wherein said door comprises a bolt and a bolt void in said living unit receives said bolt to secure said door in a closed position.
6. A living unit comprising:
a main unit wherein said main unit is a truncated ellipse comprising a truncated lower end and an elliptical upper end;
an auxiliary unit wherein said auxiliary unit is an ellipse;
a connector attached to said main unit and said auxiliary unit.
7. The living unit of claim 6 wherein said connector has a shape of an inverted “U”.
8. The living unit of claim 6 wherein said main unit comprises at least one panel wherein said panel comprises tabs protruding towards an interior of said living unit.
9. The living unit of claim 8 comprising a multiplicity of panels.
10. The living unit of claim 6 wherein said main unit comprises a door.
11. The living unit of claim 10 wherein said door comprises at least one bolt and wherein said bolt engages with a void of said main unit to secure said door in a closed position.
12. The living unit of claim 6 wherein said auxiliary unit comprises a top and a bottom.
13. The living unit of claim 12 wherein said top is transparent.
14. The living unit of claim 6 further comprising a walkway circumventing said main unit.
15. The living unit of claim 14 wherein said walkway is enclosed.
16. A living unit comprising:
a truncated elliptical shell comprising a lower truncated end and an elliptical upper end;
a floor attached to said shell parallel to said truncated end wherein said floor comprises a primary area;
a turnstile rotatably attached to said floor wherein said turnstile comprises a first pod and a second pod and wherein said turnstile can be rotated to at least two positions wherein in one of said two positions said first pod is adjacent to said primary area and in a second of said two positions said second pod is adjacent to said primary area.
17. The living unit of claim 16 wherein said first pod comprises a component.
18. The living unit of claim 16 further comprising an auxiliary unit wherein said auxiliary unit is elliptical.
19. The living unit of claim 18 further comprising a connector between said auxiliary unit and said truncated elliptical shell.
20. A living unit comprising:
a main unit wherein said main unit is a truncated ellipse comprising a truncated lower end and an elliptical upper end and said main unit comprises a sprinkler;
a reservoir comprising water;
a supply line for supplying said water to said sprinkler.
21. The living unit of claim 20 further comprising a secondary unit.
22. The living unit of claim 21 wherein said secondary unit comprises a second sprinkler and said supply line supplies water to said second sprinkler from said reservoir.
23. The living unit of claim 21 further comprising an extended space between said main unit and said secondary unit.
24. The living unit of claim 23 further comprising a third sprinkler in said extended unit and said supply line supplies water to said third sprinkler from said reservoir.
25. The living unit of claim 24 further comprising a valve in said supply line.
26. The living unit of claim 20 wherein said water in said reservoir is higher than said sprinkler.
27. The living unit of claim 20 wherein said reservoir comprises an upper portion and a lower portion.
28. The living unit of claim 27 wherein said lower portion supports said upper portion.
29. The living unit of claim 28 wherein said upper portion and said lower portion contain water.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The present invention is related an enclosed living system which draws many features from the earth for an environmentally efficient arrangement. More specifically, this invention is related to an egg shaped, or elliptical, house with integrated water systems and electrical systems.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    It is most common for houses to be manufactured in shapes which are combinations of rectangles and triangles. For example, most houses comprise relatively straight walls which meet at angles to form the exterior of the house. Likewise, the roof is typically either pitched, or flat.
  • [0003]
    Cathedral ceilings are commonly employed wherein the volume of the cathedral portion is utilized as a temperature buffer. In the summer the warmer air rises upward and is typically allowed to escape through a vent, or window, thereby keeping the room cool. In the winter, a fan can be used to move the warm air down which increases the efficiency of the heating system to a certain degree. While advantageous the present designs are still inefficient with regards to utility conservation. Particularly, flat walls receive the full impact of wind thereby decreasing the effectiveness of insulation therein.
  • [0004]
    Various structures are known in the art which are rounded. These are typically utilized as emergency shelters and do not have sufficient amenities to allow them to be used as a habitat for extended stays or as a primary residence. Boniecki et al. describes an egg-shaped shelter which is designed for underground use. It would not be suitable for above ground use since the structure would not be stable and would topple. Cupola shaped buildings are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,642,952; 3,562,975 and 2,820,990. These shelters are advantageous as underground shelters or storage areas but they would have little utility as a permanent residence.
  • [0005]
    There has been a long felt desire in the art for a housing structure which is efficient with regards to energy usage and which can better take advantage of certain natural phenomenon in the usage of utilities.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    It is an object of the present invention to provide a living unit which takes advantage of natural features for supplemental energy.
  • [0007]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide a living unit which can provide many of the functions required for habitation and which limits the requirements of energy typically associated with a living unit.
  • [0008]
    It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a living unit which has modular interior components to allow the living area to be modified as necessary.
  • [0009]
    A particular feature of the present invention is the truncated elliptical shape which increases the efficiencies with regards to energy requirements by taking advantage of natural amenities effectively.
  • [0010]
    These and other features, as will be apparent, are provided in a living unit comprising a truncated elliptical shell. The shell comprises a lower truncated end and an elliptical upper end. A floor is attached to the shell parallel to the truncated end. A temperature control system adjusts the air temperature in the living unit by convection. The temperature control system comprises a cistern for storing water below the floor. A heating system, for heating the water, comprises a multiplicity of solar cells attached to the shell. A cooling system, comprising pipes below ground, cool the water by dissipation of heat into the ground. A network selectively circulates the water either between the cistern and the heating system or between the cistern and the cooling system.
  • [0011]
    Yet another embodiment is provided in a living unit comprising: a main unit wherein said main unit is a truncated ellipse comprising a truncated lower end and an elliptical upper end; an auxiliary unit wherein said auxiliary unit is an ellipse; a connector attached to said main unit and said auxiliary unit.
  • [0012]
    A particularly preferred embodiment is provided in living unit comprising: a truncated elliptical shell comprising a lower truncated end and an elliptical upper end; a floor attached to said shell parallel to said truncated end wherein said floor comprises a primary area; a turnstile rotatably attached to said floor wherein said turnstile comprises a first pod and a second pod and wherein said turnstile can be rotated to at least two positions wherein in one of said two positions said first pod is adjacent to said primary area and in a second of said two positions said second pod is adjacent to said primary area.
  • [0013]
    Yet another preferred embodiment is provided in living unit comprising a main unit wherein the main unit is a truncated ellipse comprising a truncated lower end and an elliptical upper end and the main unit comprises a sprinkler. A reservoir, comprising water, supplies water to the sprinkler through a supply line.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating some of the advantageous features of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the present invention wherein a preferred door is illustrated.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 4 is a front view of an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating a preferred interior.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 6 is cross-sectional partial view of the present invention wherein a manner in which the turntable is attached to the floor is illustrated.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 7 is a front view of an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 8 is a side view of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating the construction thereof.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 9 is a side view of a panel in accordance with the present invention.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 10 is a rear view of a panel of the present invention.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional view and partial cut-away view illustrating an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0025]
    The invention will be described with reference to the drawings wherein similar elements are numbered accordingly.
  • [0026]
    A side view of an embodiment of the present invention is provided in FIG. 1. In FIG. 1, the main unit, 1, or housing unit, is in the form of a truncated ellipse, or egg shape. An optional, but preferred, secondary unit, 2, can be used for storage such as would be common for a garage, or it may be an auxiliary living unit such as a bedroom suite, dining suite, apartment, or the auxiliary unit may be used for functions such as water and sewage treatment, hydroponic gardening, or for raising animals. The secondary unit is also preferably in the form of a truncated ellipse, or egg shape. Between the main unit and secondary unit is an optional, but preferred, extended space, 3. The extended space is preferably in the form of an inverted “U” and interconnects the main unit, 1 and secondary unit, 2. The extended space may be enclosed to form a tunnel for transiting from the main unit to the secondary unit. More preferably, the extended space is a garden area and the surface thereof is transparent thereby forming a greenhouse.
  • [0027]
    The main structure, 1, comprises a door, 4, which will be more fully described herein. A vent system comprising an exit vent, 5, and entrance vent, 6, allow fresh air to move through the structure. In one embodiment, the exit vent is at the elliptical upper end of the truncated ellipse. This allows heated air to escape which draws fresh air into the entrance vent thereby creating a natural flow of air through the structure. The number of exit vents and entrance vents is chosen based on maximum efficiency. In one embodiment the exit vent, entrance vent or both further comprises an air movement device, such as a fan, to increase the rate at which air traverses through the structure. An exit vent, 5, and entrance vent, 6, can be employed in the secondary unit, 2, as illustrated, or they may be employed in the extended space. The secondary unit, 2, further comprises a secondary door, 7, which may be similar to the door, 4, of the main structure, 1, or it may be a different size to accommodate vehicles, equipment, etc.
  • [0028]
    Energy panels, 8, systematically placed on, or near, the surface of the truncated ellipse provide alternate electrical energy, the application and assembly of which would be realized by and readily available to one of ordinary skill in the art. The energy panels include solar panels, windmills and fuel cells. Solar panels are known to convert natural radiation, such as sunlight, into electrical energy by processes that are well known in the art. Windmills typically involve a rotating member which is rotated by wind, or air flow, which in-turn rotates a generator. Fuel cells extract hydrogen from a fuel, such as gasoline or methanol, which is combined with oxygen to generate electricity. Alternative energy sources are advantageous since they decrease the dependence on currently available energy suppliers.
  • [0029]
    At least one window, 9, and associated blind, 10, which is shown in partial cut-away view, allow for alternate passive solar heating and ambient light when the blind is opened during daylight hours. The use of passive solar heat and ambient light decreases the necessity for heating sources and lighting sources both of which require energy consumption. Alternatively, the blind, 10, can cover the window thereby decreasing the light and heat entering the unit.
  • [0030]
    A cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the invention of FIG. 1 is provided in FIG. 2. In FIG. 2, the main unit, 1, secondary unit, 2, and extended space, 3, are integral one to the other and each unit is preferably sealed to the next unit at the junctions there between by adhesive, caulk or gaskets. An optional, but preferred, tunnel, 11, preferably below the level of the ground, 12, allows access between units while still maintaining the ambient conditions within the space of the combined structures. The floor, 14, of the main unit, and secondary unit preferably comprises a hatch, 15, for egress to and from the tunnel, 11. A fan, 13, allows for air circulation as well known in the art.
  • [0031]
    A water based heating and cooling system contributes to the efficiency of the living system of the present invention. Rain water is captured in a collector, 16. The collector preferably comprises a filter to remove large impurities such as leaves, insects and the like. The water flows by gravity to a network, 18, of pipes for storage and use. While illustrated schematically, it would be understood that the network would comprise multiple pipes to allow for circulation of water to and from the various components described further herein. A valve, 17, allows for closure of the collector if no further water is necessary. A cistern, 19, below the floor, 14, of the main unit, 1, forms a water reservoir and provides for heating and cooling of the structure by heat dissipation. During warm weather the water supply in the cistern is cooled and therefore acts as a heat sink which lowers the temperature in the structure. A series of tentacles, 22, located below the ground, 12, dissipates heat from the water thereby maintaining the temperature of the water in the cistern. In the winter the water in the network can be heated by solar cells, 20, whereby the water in the cistern would be a heat source thereby increasing the temperature of the air in the structure by heat dissipation. Circulators, 21, would be included to circulate water through the solar cells and tentacles as desired to heat, or cool, the water in the network and cistern. The water system forms either a heating system or a cooling system depending on the manner in which water is circulated. When water is circulated between the cistern and tentacles through the network a cooling system is realized. When water is circulated between the cistern and solar cells by the network a heating system is realized. It would be apparent that circulation between both the heating system and cooling system would be counter productive.
  • [0032]
    In a preferred embodiment a pump, 23, is provided for withdrawing water from the network to provide a spray, 24, for plants, 25, or animals in the extended space, 3. A spigot, 26, is provided for retrieving water from the cistern, 19, or network, 18.
  • [0033]
    A cross-sectional view of a preferred door of the present invention is provided in FIG. 3 and a front view of the main unit, 1, with the door removed illustrating the door void is shown in FIG. 4. The exterior of the door, 40, has a curved shape comparable to the exterior shape of the unit to which it is affixed. The door fits into and fills a door void, 41, forming a seal therein. A handle, 42, activates a series of bolts, 43, which engage with bolt voids, 44, to secure the door into position and seal the door void, 41. The door swings towards the interior of the main unit, as seen in FIG. 3 and slides upward due to the force of a spring, 45, attached to the door by a connector, 47. The spring is biased to withdraw the door upwards into a storage cavity formed by a frame, 46. The door is therefore stored and not an obstruction when opened. Mechanisms for turning a handle and withdrawing or extending bolts are well known and commercially available from a wide variety of sources and further elaboration herein is neither necessary nor additive.
  • [0034]
    A particularly preferred interior of the main unit is provided as described relative to FIG. 5. In FIG. 5, the main unit, 1, comprises a primary space, 50, and at least one modular space, 51. The primary space is a portion of the floor that is not covered by a turntable. The modular space, 51, encompasses a portion of a turntable, 52, comprising pods, 53. Each pod comprises a function, or utility, characterized by the components, 54, therein. A component can be an entertainment device, such as a musical instrument; a broadcast reception device such as a television or radio; game elements, such as card tables, dart boards, pool table, table tennis table, or the like; convenience devices, such as refrigerators, cooking elements, refreshment centers, etc.; or additional seating areas. Each turnstile, 52, can be rotated such that a pod, 53, forms a living area encompassing the primary space, and pod. By way of example, referring to FIG. 5, the living area in the configuration shown would include the primary area, 50, pod, 53 a, and pod, 53 e.
  • [0035]
    Each turnstile preferably includes walls, 55, which provide a visual, and/or physical barrier between pods. Optional, but preferred, fixed walls, 56, are secured to the floor, 14, as would be common in the art of house design to provide a visual perception of a closed area. By way of example, referring again to FIG. 5, an individual standing in the primary space, 50, would observe a room consisting of the primary space, 50, a pod, 53 a, and a second pod, 53 e. The room would be enclosed by the exterior wall of the main unit and the combination of walls 56 a-c; the walls separating pod 53 a from pods 53 b and 53 d and the walls separating pod 53 e from pods 53 f and 53 h. Fixed walls, 56, or pod walls, 55, may further comprise doors, windows and the like to further enhance the utility of the pod or living area and to provide access to other pods which are reversibly outside of the living area.
  • [0036]
    The turnstile, 52, is rotatably attached to the floor, 14, as will be described in relation to FIG. 6. FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional cut-away view of an embodiment of the present invention. The turntable, 52, is rotatably attached to the floor, 14, by an axle, 60. Circumventing the axle is a multiplicity of wheels, 61, upon which the turnstile rest. Each wheel, 61, rotates on an axle, 62, which is attached to the floor by a bracket, 63. The multiplicity of wheels provides a support for the turntable and allows for ease in rotation of the turnstile such that each pod can be rotated into position to form the living area. The turnstile can also be rotated mechanically by employing pulleys and motors as would be realized to one of ordinary skill in the art.
  • [0037]
    A particularly preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 7. In FIG. 7, the main unit, 70, is in the shape of a truncated ellipse, more commonly referred to as an egg shape. The main unit comprises a truncated lower end, 71, and elliptical upper end, 72. Circumventing at least a portion of the main unit is a walkway, 73, which is accessed by a stair, 74, to the ground. The walkway may be enclosed or open on top. A door, 75, allows egress to the interior of the main unit from the walkway. A covered passage, 76, between the walkway, 73 and an auxiliary unit, 77, allows for passage between the two units. The auxiliary unit, 77, is preferably elliptical. Most preferably, the auxiliary unit comprises a bottom, 78, and top, 79. In a particularly preferred embodiment the bottom and top are approximately the same size to facilitate shipping of the halves in a nested fashion. In a particularly preferred embodiment the top, 79, is transparent thereby allowing the auxiliary unit to be used as a greenhouse. The top is preferably formed of glass, or a synthetic material such as acrylic.
  • [0038]
    The assembly of a unit is described in reference to FIGS. 8-10. FIG. 8 is a side view of a unit. FIG. 9 is a side view of panel, 81, and FIG. 10 is a front interior view of a panel, 81. Each unit, 80, preferably comprises a multiplicity of panels, 81, each of which has similar dimensions. Each panel comprises tabs, 82, projecting towards the interior of the unit. The tabs, 82, further comprise matching voids, 84. The panels are arranged with the tabs in contact and the matching voids aligned. A securing device, such as matching threaded members, rivets and the like, are used to draw the tabs into contact. It is contemplated that a material, such as caulk adhesive or a gasket, may be placed between the tabs to form a water tight barrier. While the dimensions of the panels are preferably the same, panels may comprise features such as doors, windows, vents, etc. or the panels may comprise additional tabs for attaching elements such as wall panels, floors, and the like.
  • [0039]
    A particularly preferred embodiment is illustrated, and will be described by reference to FIG. 11. In FIG. 11, the main unit, 1, secondary unit, 2, and extended space, 3, are as described relative to FIG. 1. A water reservoir, 100, comprising an upper portion, 101, and lower portion, 102, provides a water storage device. In one embodiment the lower portion, 102, represents a support pedestal upon which an upper portion, 101, is supported. In another embodiment the upper portion and lower portion represent a single unit for water storage. Water, 103, is stored in the water reservoir and is either collected as rain, or other precipitation, or supplied by a well and associated pump. A sprinkler, 104, in the main unit, 1, allows for fire protection. The sprinkler, 104, preferably comprises a thermal detector, smoke detector, or both which allows water to pass through the sprinkler in the event of fire or smoke as well known in the art of fire protection. The sprinkler is supplied by a supply line, 105, which supplies water from the water reservoir, 100. In a particularly preferred embodiment the water level, 106, is above the level of the supply line, 105, and sprinkler, 104, such that gravity feed can be employed to automatically extinguish a fire. A secondary sprinkler, 104 a, is preferably provided for the secondary unit, 2. The secondary sprinkler receives water from a secondary supply line, 105 a, and operates in a manner analogous to the sprinkler of the main unit. In a particularly preferred embodiment an auxiliary supply line, 106, can provide water to an auxiliary sprinkler, 107, which can be used to water the contents of the extended space, 3. A preferred valve, 108, allows the water flow to be controlled for optimal watering of the contents of the extended space. The water reservoir is suitable for multiple uses and the use is not limited herein. Particularly preferred are recreational uses, such as swimming, and agricultural uses, such as raising fish for consumption.
  • [0040]
    The material of construction is not limiting but preferred are those materials which are easily formed, or machined, into panels as described herein. Particularly preferred are composites such as reinforced plastics including acrylates and vinylidene polymers. Metals are also suitable for use in the present invention due, in part, to the ease with which metals, particularly steel, can be formed into various configurations.
  • [0041]
    The invention has been describe with particular emphasis to the preferred embodiments. The preferred embodiments are intended to describe the utility of the invention as well as specific design features but are not intended to limit the invention which is more specifically set forth in the claims which follow.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4049195 *Dec 8, 1976Sep 20, 1977Rugenstein Robert WSolar heated building structure
US5715854 *Apr 9, 1996Feb 10, 1998Jean-Claude AndrieuxDome-like structure and kit of parts therefor
US5930961 *Jun 10, 1998Aug 3, 1999Beaudet; Judith HollySite assembled emergency shelter
US6450264 *Oct 26, 2000Sep 17, 2002William ChristianSprinkler system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7765746Aug 3, 2010Reed Robert STornado resistant dome house
US20090025306 *Jul 24, 2007Jan 29, 2009Reed Robert STornado resistant dome house
USD739614 *Mar 13, 2015Sep 22, 2015Lioness Feeding Technology Inc.Feeding station
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/80.2
International ClassificationE04H1/02, F24F5/00, E04B1/74
Cooperative ClassificationY02B10/20, Y02B10/24, F24F2005/0064, E04B1/74, F24F5/0046, E04H1/02
European ClassificationE04H1/02, E04B1/74, F24F5/00F